Police force has to take ownership of preparing its members to handle domestic violence reports

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has benefited from several initiatives to prepare ranks to respond appropriately to reports of domestic violence.  The organization participated in the Women’s Rights Campaign with a focus on Domestic Violence launched by the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action in 1992, resulting in sensitization sessions being held for police in different regions.

The Canadian International Development Agency funded two projects which included training of police trainers who had the responsibility to roll out training throughout the GPF.  The second project involved refinement of training material and the production of an 8-unit course, a booklet of case studies and a training database.  It also resulted in a formal link between the GPF and the Ottawa Police Service to address domestic violence; that link may well be broken.

Officers of the GPF were also trained as trainers through the Caribbean Association of Feminist Research and Action, Inter-American Development Bank and Association of Caribbean Commissioners Police Training Project.  Material used in this project was incorporated in the GPF course.

Also, the GPF has a documented system for ensuring that all members of the organization are trained.  However, this has not been institutionalized.

Without commitment from the leadership of the GPF, the greatest benefit to be derived from the  project to train police to respond to domestic violence cases advertised by the Ministry of Social Protection will redound to the consultant.  The GPF has to take ownership for preparing its members to protect and serve.

Yours faithfully,

Janice M. Jackson

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